UN rights chief welcomes revised text for anti-racism conference

15 April 2009

The top United Nations human rights official has welcomed a revised draft outcome document for next week’s anti-racism conference, exhorting delegates to take action to combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.

Navi Pillay today urged States attending the Preparatory Committee meeting, taking place one week before the start of the Durban Review Conference, which kicks off on 20 April in Geneva, to “transcend their differences and find consensus.”

She underscored that “lives are at stake. The future and countless victims of racism lie in your hands.”

Delegates were presented with the new 17-page text today, which was revised based on extensive consultations with States.

Next week’s Conference seeks to assess progress and implementation thus far of the landmark Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) agreed on by States in 2001.

“Eight years on, anti-racism pledges and measures have not yet succeeded in relegating discriminatory practices and intolerance to the heap of history’s repugnant debris,” Ms. Pillay stressed.

The DDPA’s goals have yet to be achieved, she said. “This reality should prompt us to seek common ground where to move the struggle against racism forward.”


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